Showing posts with label facebook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label facebook. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Teens Alcohol Drinking Problems Could Be Found On Facebook

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - College students' Facebook pages might hold clues to which of them are at risk for alcohol dependence and abuse, according to a new study.

Researchers found that students who had pictures or posts about getting drunk or blacking out were more likely to be at risk of drinking problems, based on a screening test. That was not necessarily the case for students who mentioned alcohol or drinking on their pages, but not in a way that showed that they drank too much or in unhealthy situations.

It's possible that Facebook pages could help schools find out who needs to be assessed for alcohol-related problems -- although privacy and ethical concerns might make that complicated, researchers said.

The question is whether "what's being found on these sites... is actually predictive of clinical conditions," said Dr. James Niels Rosenquist, a social media researcher and psychiatrist from Massachusetts General Hospital who wasn't involved in the new study.

The findings suggest that messages on Facebook sites do seem to be linked to what happens in the "real world," he told Reuters Health.

Dr. Megan Moreno from the University of Wisconsin-Madison led a team of researchers from her university and the University of Washington in Seattle who surveyed the Facebook pages, including photos and posts, of 224 undergrads with publicly-available profiles.

About two-thirds of those students had no references to alcohol or drinking on their pages. The rest of the pages mentioned or had pictures of social, non-problematic drinking or more serious and risky alcohol use, including riding in a car while drunk or getting in trouble related to drinking.

The researchers brought all the students in for a 10-question screening test used to determine who is at risk for problem drinking. That test assesses the frequency of drinking and binge drinking as well as negative consequences from alcohol use.

Close to six in ten of the students whose Facebook pages had references to drunkenness and other dangerous drinking scored above the cutoff showing a risk for alcohol abuse and dependence, as well as other drinking-related problems.

That compared to 38 percent of students who had more minor references to alcohol and 23 percent of those who didn't mention alcohol or drinking at all, according to findings published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

In addition, close to one in five Facebook-implicated risky drinkers said they had an alcohol-related injury in the previous year.

Moreno and her colleagues proposed that peer leaders such as residential assistants could be trained to use Facebook to see who is at risk for problem drinking, and refer those students to get screening. Or, parents and administrators could talk to a school's counselors if they were worried about alcohol-related content on a student's page.

"You might have someone who, if they write in a Facebook posting about being drunk... that might be a red flag," Rosenquist told Reuters Health.

But, he added, with social media "you get very small snapshots into people's lives," so perusing Facebook pages alone might not be enough to see who needs to be screened for alcohol problems.

And there are other concerns as well, he said, including how appropriate it is to go scouting on students' pages for certain information.

Moreno said that a college RA already has a connection with students and is there to look out for them -- and this study is showing that "there is some legitimacy in approaching students that you're worried about," including if that worry is coming from Facebook posts.

But, she added, "Paying attention to people's privacy concerns is really big."

Moreno suggested that universities could have links to the health center or to online screening tests show up as Facebook advertisements for students who use terms such as "blacked out" on their pages.

"With the targeted messaging, there's not that (feeling) that someone you don't know is creeping on your profile," she told Reuters Health.

SOURCE: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, online October 3, 2011.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Facebook and Google + Add New Features

Written By
Jon Swartz
USA Today
SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook isn't waiting until its F8 developers conference Thursday to tack on new features.

The social-networking power has revamped user profiles with a top-story function that highlights the most relevant tidbits from friends, a Twitter-like news ticker on the right side of the page that offers real-time updates, and larger photos. (Facebook estimates its users post 250 million photos daily.)

The top-story function is based on who posted and the type of news (wedding, birth) shared.

"We've been experimenting with changes for a long time and think this will ensure that users do not miss out on things they care about," says Keith Schacht, product manager for Facebook's News Feed. "It makes the site more alive." The new Facebook look should be available to all of its 750 million users in a week or so, he says.

Facebook's announcement, in advance of what is expected to be a busy day at F8, is the latest broadside in its battle with Google+ for millions of consumers and -- indirectly -- advertising dollars.

Facebook is expected to fold music and next-generation video into its service.

Much is at stake financially. Facebook is expected to rake in $4.3 billion in revenue this year -- more than twice the $2 billion in 2010, according to market researcher eMarketer.

Dueling features in Facebook and Google+ have taken on the feel of a social-networking arms race, with plenty of technological tit-for-tat.

Earlier Tuesday, Google pre-empted Facebook's news with a slew of new Google+ features. It also said Google+ --is now open to everyone, after a nearly three-month closed-trial period. The most important new feature is improved search.

Meanwhile, Hangouts, the Google+ multiperson video-chat component, will now let users take part in a Hangout chat session using a smartphone or tablet. For now, Hangouts' new mobile feature is available only on Android devices.

Another new feature, called On Air, will let Google+ users broadcast their hangouts to the public for anyone to watch. In keeping with the Hangout theme, as many as nine other Google+ users can take part in the Hangout On Air.

"We are serious about having the best (social-network) service, and we do not plan to slow down," says Vic Gundotra, the Google senior vice president in charge of Google+.

He saays 100 changes and features have been added to Google+ since its debut in late June, and as many changes are planned in the next year.

Google+ has more than 10 million members.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Local Woman Says Lies Were Posted About Her On Facebook Site

Written by
Carol Vaughn ~Staff Writer
ACCOMAC -- A local woman is incensed about rumors being spread about her love life on the social networking site Facebook's page called "Accomac Cheaters."

She is worried her young children may someday see the postings on the Internet, where information -- and misinformation -- sometimes remains accessible for a very long time, even after its creators think they have deleted it.

"In five years my son may come across this," she said, adding, "You work your whole life for your character -- that's all you have."

The woman consulted an attorney within hours of being made aware of a disparaging, expletive-laden posting about her on the page, Accomac Cheaters.

Now she is considering filing a civil lawsuit against the page's creator and is inviting others who consider themselves victims of attacks on the site and similar sites, and who may want to be added as parties to a civil lawsuit, to email her at esvafacebookvictims@gmail. com.

Because it is sometimes difficult to ascertain who developed a page on Facebook, the woman even paid $50 to an online locator service to find out the creator's IP address -- the unique numerical label assigned to each device participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication.

"This is just people that are targeting people. It should be prosecuted for the language alone," she said.

There are actually several Facebook pages dedicated, at least ostensibly, to outing cheating Eastern Shore of Virginia spouses and significant others.

And for better or worse -- just like the broken marriage vows the sites claim to expose -- the pages are popular, although rife with language that would make a sailor blush.

Easternshore Cheaters currently has 94 friends, while Exmore Cheaters has 802 friends, Accomac Cheaters has 1,059 friends and a page called Eastern Shore VA Cheaters has 1,061 "likes" but no postings in the past month or so.

The woman said she has sent five reports to Facebook about why the site where she was mentioned should be shut down, but has not yet heard back.

A statement of rights and responsibilities on the site says Facebook's operators "do our best to keep Facebook safe, but we cannot guarantee it. We need your help to do that, which includes the following:"

Among the points that follow is this: "You will not bully, intimidate, or harass any user," along with the next point, which states, "You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic images."

A little further down is this: "You will not use Facebook to do anything unlawful, misleading, malicious, or discriminatory."

The offended woman, whose name is being withheld by the News, also has an email address for people who have posted on the sites and now want to come forward with identifying information about the account holders. That address is esvafacebook

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Smartphone Users Angered Over Facebook Feature

Some smartphone users are outraged over a Facebook feature that automatically imports personal phone numbers on their pages.

Over the past few days, Facebook users have been circulating messages letting people know that if their Facebook account is synced to a smartphone, phone numbers will then be posted in the user's account.

According to Facebook, the feature is not new. Facebook has posted a disclaimer on its site which says: "Rumors claiming that your phone contacts are visible to everyone on Facebook are false. Our Contacts list, formerly called Phonebook, has existed for a long time. The phone numbers listed there were either added by your friends themselves and made visible to you, or you have previously synced your phone contacts with Facebook. Just like on your phone, only you can see these numbers."

Facebook says only the account user can view the phone numbers. Many people don't feel the numbers are safe. They also worry about the growing number of hacking incidents that are taking place on Facebook.

"I don't want my number on anybody's page," said Latiqueka Cawley.

"I think it just put us in a vulnerable spot," said Facebook user Kim Hollett.

"I don't think Facebook snuck it in. I think people now are more concerned about what information is out there and they don't really understand when they're setting permissions or accepting terms of service what actually is going on," said John Dolinar.

Dolinar is the information security manager at Cuyahoga County Community College. He says just like other apps and games you may download on your phone, users must be careful to read the fine print.

"You really have to be careful on the phone and the apps you install. There are lot of other apps that will try to sync your contacts up to someone onto the internet or for information, marketing, whatever."

In order to erase the phone numbers from your Facebook account, go to "Account," click on "Edit Friends" and then go to "Contacts." From there, click on "Contacts" and then go to "This Page."

Follow the directions on the Facebook page to disable the sync feature on your phone and then click "Remove."


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Facebook Kicks Off 20,000 Underage Users Every Day

Would it surprise you to learn that, according to a Pew study, nearly half of all 12-year-olds in the U.S. use social network sites, even though they don't meet the minimum age requirements? For Facebook, it's a headache they could do without.

But it's nevertheless a headache they're trying to address. The Daily Telegraph is reporting that roughly 20,000 children are booted off Facebook every day for lying about their age.

But it could be considered an almost impossible problem to solve because Facebook has no mechanisms to work out whether a new user is telling the truth when he or she signs up. "It's not perfect," said Facebook's chief privacy adviser Mozelle Thompson.

And the 20,000 figure quoted is but a fraction of the 600 million (and ever growing) users that are on Facebook. What's more, underage users aren't merely an issue for the social network site but for regulators concerned with privacy issues. In the U.S., that's been spearheaded of late by Senator Al Franken, who has already been the co-author of a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg related to collecting the personal data of users.

"These younger users," said Franken (referring at the time to teenagers between the age of 13–17) are the most vulnerable to predators on Facebook and the rest of the Internet and it should be impossible for them to inadvertently share their phone numbers and home addresses with anyone." And Franken would no doubt note the grim irony that, when it comes to the preteen market, this is no laughing matter.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Pictures of Bombs Posted On Facebook Can Get You Alot Of Attention

( March 4, 2011) When a picture or comment is posted on the Internet, it could be there forever for anyone to see. One Ocean City man learned this the hard way last week, when he was arrested and charged with a serious crime because of a picture he posted on his Facebook page.

Authorities contend that Ernesto Garcia-Bristo, 26, posted a picture of himself holding two pipe bombs, along with a comment that he made the bombs to use against another person. The Ocean City bomb squad arrested him Feb. 24 and charged him with possessing a destructive device.

The investigation into Garcia- Bristo’s activities was started by an agent with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement because Garcia-Bristo was supposed to have been deported in 2008, according to the police report. The agent began conducting surveillance of Garcia- Bristo after learning that he was still living in Ocean City.

As part of the investigation, the ICE agent examined Garcia-Bristo’s online Facebook page. The agent was concerned by some of the pictures posted on the page, and contacted the local bomb squad.

According to the statement of charges written by Deputy Fire Marshal Cliff Christello, one picture depicted a Hispanic male with a black ski mask over his face holding “two metallic, oblong cylindrical objects (one approximately half the size of the larger) attached together by what appears to be black electrical tape and connected on top by a thin item similar in size/consistency to a fuse or electrical wiring.” These were believed to be pipe bombs.

A string of online comments below the picture led police to believe Garcia-Bristo was the man in the picture holding the suspected bombs, that he made the suspected bombs in Ocean City and that he threatened to use them against another person.

According to the police report, one comment asked, “And is that one of your creations?” The reply, which police said was written by Garcia- Bristo, said, “C’mon, don’t you remember, Fat Boy, it’s the one we did in 76th, it was a gift for that [expletive]. Thank god they understood, because otherwise BBBBUUUMMM to hell.”

Read more HERE>>

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Air Force Warns Troops About Facebook Feature

WASHINGTON – The Air Force is warning its troops to be careful when using Facebook and other popular networking sites because some new features could show the enemy exactly where U.S. forces are located in war zones.

In a warning issued on its internal website earlier this month, the Air Force said that "careless use of these services by airmen can have devastating operations security and privacy implications." The message was also sent to senior commanders, who were asked to get the word out to their forces.

The sites are a concern for U.S military services, which have 95,000 troops in Afghanistan and roughly 50,000 in Iraq. The Army, which provides the bulk of the battlefield forces, said it intends to circulate a similar warning about location services to key personnel next week.

The applications, which are offered by a variety of services including Facebook, Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt, can identify a person's location, even pinpoint it on a map.

A key concern is that enemy forces could use such features to track troops in the war zone who have a Blackberry or other smart phone and use those networking services.

Location services have grown in popularity as more people get smart phones that have GPS and other means of determining the user's location.

In most cases, however, users have to go into the program manually and check in — or list a location — in order for that location to show up.

According to Facebook's practices, for example, users must either download the Facebook application and then check in to a location, or go to the mobile Facebook page to check in. The default setting for Facebook then allows a user's friends to see the location, but that setting can be manually changed to allow friends of friends or "everyone" see the location.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Facebook Apps Transmitted Personal Info

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that 10 popular Facebook applications have been transmitting users' personal identifying information to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies.

The newspaper said Monday that the breach also includes users who set all their information to be completely private. And in some cases, it says, the apps provided access to friends' names.

A Facebook spokesman told the Journal on Sunday that the company would introduce new technology to contain the breach. It's not clear how long the breach went on.

The paper says Facebook also has taken immediate action to disable all applications that violated their terms.

Most apps are made by independent software companies, not by Facebook.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Users Of Facebook Get An Apology

Many Facebook users were unable to access the social networking site for up to two and a half hours on Thursday, the worst outage the website has had in over four years, Facebook said in a posting.

The problems were traced back to a change made by Facebook in one of its systems.

The change was made to a piece of data that was called upon whenever an error-checking routine found invalid data in Facebook's system. The piece of data was itself interpreted as invalid, which caused the system to try and replace it with the same piece of data and so a feedback loop began.

The loop resulted in hundreds of thousands of queries per second being sent to Facebook's database cluster, overwhelming the system.

The result for users was a "DNS error" message and no access to the site.

"The way to stop the feedback cycle was quite painful - we had to stop all traffic to this database cluster, which meant turning off the site," wrote Robert Johnson, director of software engineering at Facebook, in a post on the site. "Once the databases had recovered and the root cause had been fixed, we slowly allowed more people back onto the site."

The problem hasn't been entirely fixed. Johnson said Facebook had to turn off the automated system to get the website back up and running. But that system does play an integral role in protecting the website.

Facebook is now exploring new ways to handle the situation so it won't lead to another feedback loop.

"We apologize again for the site outage, and we want you to know that we take the performance and reliability of Facebook very seriously," he wrote.

It's the second day Facebook was brought down for some users. On Wednesday, Facebook blamed a third-party networking provider for making the site inaccessible to some.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The DISLIKE Button On Facebook

Now here's something to think about. I'm not sure this is entirely correct and I am not about to go to my facebook page and click the "dislike" button to see what happens (if it is there). In fact, I think that I have only seen it a few times in cases of disliking something I thought I liked and changed my mind. Have you seen it? Have you used it? Did anything happen?

A new Facebook scam is making the rounds, and it's taking advantage of a non-existent Facebook feature many users crave: the dislike button.

First, let's clear things up: There is no such thing as an official Facebook dislike button. It's possible that Facebook will implement a similar feature in the future, but right now it simply doesn't exist.

So, if you see a status update containing the message "I just got the Dislike button, so now I can dislike all of your dumb posts lol!!" or "Get the official DISLIKE button now" followed by a link, you should know that it's another one of many scams that aim to extract your personal data.

If you click on the link, you'll land on an elaborate Facebook dislike button "install" page (note that if the dislike button were real, you wouldn't need to install it; Facebook would automatically add it to user profiles). If you follow the instructions, you'll be asked to give the app permission to run, after which you'll be asked to complete a survey, similar to the surveys found in many other scams we've seen recently.

Interestingly enough, the app ultimately points you to an existing Firefox add-on called FaceMod, which dubs itself the "Facebook Dislike Button (the Original)," but the add-on doesn't seem to be connected to the scam. We haven't verified whether the add-on works as advertised or if it's dangerous, but one thing is certain: It is not coming from Facebook and it is not an official Facebook dislike button.

As usual, we advise you not to click on suspicious links on Facebook, especially if they promise something that sounds impossible or unlikely. Do not give away your personal information, unless you're absolutely sure why and who you're giving it to. If you've fallen for the scam, remove the offending app(s) from your Facebook profile; furthermore, remove the related message from your status, News Feed, and your Likes and Interests in the "Edit my Profile" menu.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mother Arrested For Posting Picture Of Baby With Bong On Facebook

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fla. (AP) - A central Florida mom who thought it would be funny to post a picture of her baby with a bong on her Facebook page has been arrested.

Nineteen-year-old Rachel Stieringer was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. A Texas resident called Florida's abuse hot line after seeing the picture online of the baby posing with his face in the bong.

Two weeks ago the mom had defended her actions , claiming there were no drugs or tobacco in the bowl, and her child was not breathing in smoke.

But child protection officers from the Florida Department of Children and Families launched an inquiry into her actions.

"We are alarmed that any parent would take pictures of their child next to what is obviously drug paraphernalia," said spokesman John Harrell.

The mother had spoken via the social networking site Facebook, and insisting the pictures were a joke.

She said: "If u look at the picture u can see that there is no bowl in the TABACCO pipe.

"And i took a pic to show one (expletive) person and it was a mistake. I would never ever ever let him get high."

The mom said that as part of the investigation she was ordered to take a drugs test, and her son was being checked by doctors.

She added: "Do you realize how serious this is? i can go to jail and he can be taken away from me. WHY would you do something so (expletive) stupid?

"i know what i did was stupid but i would NEVER put by baby in harm. im so nice to everyone idk (I don't know) why you would do this to me."

Clay County Sheriff's deputies say Stieringer turned herself in July 29 and was released on $502 bond.

A spokesman for the Department of Children and Families said Monday the baby had no injuries and drug tests came back negative.

A message could not be left at Stieringer's home Tuesday morning. The phone number was busy on several attempts.

(The grandparents are now caring for the child.)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ehrlich Will Announce Running Mate On Facebook!

Having accomplished his quest to reach 25,000 Facebook fans, Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. now says he will use the social media site for a major announcement this week: His selection of a running mate.

Ehrlich this morning confirmed via a video posted on his Facebook page what Kendel Ehrlich mentioned on their final radio show Saturday. His status update: "Can you guess who it will be? Stay tuned this week right here on facebook to find out who will run with Bob."

As of 1:30 p.m., many of the 58 commenters mention Dr. Ben Carson (who has said he is not interested). One commenter proclaims, "I am available," while others name-drop Republican favorites like party chairwoman Audrey Scott.

The former governor has been an avid Facebook user throughout his campaign, recently using it for a live chat and revealing tidbits now and again to supporters.

Gov. Martin O'Malley also has an active Facebook page with more than 10,000 fans. His latest posting, on Friday, was a link to his most recent attack ad.

Ehrlich says on the video that his lieutenant governor choice will be revealed in a few days. O'Malley is running with his current lieutenant governor, Anthony Brown.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

AWOL Afghans On Facebook??

At least 11 of the 17 members of the Afghan military who went AWOL from an Air Force base in Texas and are considered deserters by their nation have turned up in the exact place you'd expect to find them in the year 2010.

They're on Facebook.

And, by the look of things, they're not unlike millions of other young men on the social networking site. One proclaims to be a fan of Paris Hilton and is a member of a group named “FREE Webcam Sex with ME!” Another is a fan of hip hop music, Michael Jackson, the tearjerker movie The Notebook, Family Guy and Sports Center. Another is a fan of soccer and the Godfather.

But others have friends whose motives may be much more sinister. Some belong to the “Afghanistan Mujahideen” group, a page that features, among other content, videos from the American-born Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn, a.k.a. Azzam the American.

According to a nationwide be-on-the-lookout (BOLO) bulletin that was sent by the North Texas Joint Terrorism Task force to law enforcement agencies across the country last week, the 17 Afghan deserters walked away from the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base, where they had been studying English. The men have military identification that would give them access to secure U.S. military installations, the bulletin read. The existence of the BOLO alert was revealed exclusively by

One week later, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement source told that only two or three of the 17 Afghans remain at large. The source said investigators have been working with Canadian immigration records and now believe that many of the men are in Canada.

David Smith, spokesman for Randolph Air Force Base in Texas, told he was told that four of the men remain unaccounted for. Of the 13 who have been located, he said, six have pending refugee claims in Canada, two have permanent residency in Canada, four are in the process of being deported and one is a conditional resident alien in the U.S. But one thing most of them have in common is an affection for social networking. found Facebook pages belonging to 11 of the 17 deserters. The wife of one of them also created a page, on which she said her husband should not have appeared in the BOLO alert because authorities knew exactly where he was — at a South Texas immigration detention center, where she said he’s been held for the past eight months.

Many of the men found on Facebook appear unconcerned that they are being actively sought by law enforcement officials, having made little or no attempt to disguise their identities or whereabouts. Eleven of the men can be linked together either directly or through mutual friends on Facebook. On June 17 at 11:50 p.m., Mohd Ali Karimi posted an online note to the Facebook pages of two of the other AWOL men, Mohammad Nasim Fateh Zada and Sardar Mohd Ahmadi.
All three list their current city as Toronto. Zada’s profile lists his favorite quotation, Reinhold Nieburh's Serenity Prayer: “God grand me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.” He says he graduated from Uluanovsk Signal Military College in 1986 and attended Military High School in Kabul, Afghanistan.

His “likes and interests” include soccer, jogging, gymnastics, history books, the movies Slumdog Millionaire and the Godfather, Fox News and CBC Radio 1.

On May 2, he posted a photo of himself at Niagara Falls, timestamped June 21, 2008 Zada’s online friends include a U.S. Army liaison officer and other members of the Afghan military.

On Sunday, Ahmadi, 32, who belongs to a Facebook group for Defense Language Institute students, posted a link to a Fox News report,

Kakar is friends with another AWOL man named in the BOLO alert, Sayed Qadir Shah Habiby, who provides this description of himself: “I like to spend time with the people I love! I enjoy having fun in what ever I do. Life is short, live it to the fullest."
He is a fan of Michael Jackson, The Notebook and Sports Center, and he says, “I want everyone to be a Democratic.” He says he graduated from National Military Academy of Afghanistan in 2008 and Kabul Military High in 2005.

In a comment posted on a friend’s wall, Habiby reveals that he studied civil engineering at NMAA and is living in California. Last active on March 29, he belonged to a Facebook group dedicated to making Pashto Afghanistan’s only official language. The description reads, in English, “To destroy a nation, Turn it into a bilingual or multilingual country. History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two or more competing languages and cultures."

It continues in Pashto,“75 percent of Afghanistan’s people speak Pashto, so this is the right of all Afghans that the national language be Pashto. In the near future, a grand jirga will be held in Kabul, so I request all patriotic Afghans to fulfill their responsibility and national duty in order to get their rights, and to put an end to Iran and its proxies.”

Another group Habiby belongs to is “Let us laugh,” a Pashto site described as “Let’s laugh so much that we forget our sorrows, but let’s not laugh too much because it’s harmful.”

The wife of Mohammad Fahim Faqier, one of the missing men, started a Facebook group page called “Set Fahim Free,” following his incarceration at an immigration detention center in South Texas. But she changed the page to “Setting the record straight for my husband: Mohammad Fahim Faqier,” once news broke that her husband, who she says has been detained for more than eight months, was included in the BOLO alert.

In an e-mail to she wrote, “Believe me no one was more shocked than me to see my husband's name and photo on that list, especially considering the fact that he wasn't missing and ICE knew exactly where he was.”

None of the AWOL men, other than Ahmadi, replied to Facebook messages. A man named Ahmad Sameer Samar, when contacted by Fox News, replied that he was not the same Ahmad Sameer Samar named in the BOLO alert.

The following 17 Afghan military members have gone AWOL from an Air Force base in Texas and are being sought in a nationwide alert in the U.S.

Abdul Ghani Barakzai, born 8/8/1977
Mohd Ali Karimi, born 9/3/1982
Mohammad Nasim Fateh Zada, born 12/4/1966
Aminullah Sangarwal, born 8/27/1982
Mohd Ahmadi, born 5/5/1978
Ahad Abdulahad, born 5/5/1984
Sayed Qadir Shah Habiby, born 5/7/1985
Javed Aryan AKA Aryan Javed, born 1/1/1987
Mirwais Qassmi, born 4/24/1974
Barsat Noorani, born 6/3/1981
Atiqullah Habibi, two dates of birth are listed on the alert: 6/2/1982 and 7/2/1982
Ahmad Sameer Samar, born 5/2/1983
Mohamed Fahim Faqier, born 6/1/1987
Obaiddullah Abrahimy, born 8/1/1979
Sayed Nasir Hashimi, born 4/5/1972
Shawali Kakar, born 12/31/1979
Khan Padshah Amiri, born 4/1/1978

Thursday, June 10, 2010

After 15 Yers Mother Finds Daughter On Facebook

MONTCLAIR, Calif. (AP) — Prince Sagala searched for her son and daughter for 15 years, fearing she had lost them forever to the estranged husband who took them to his native Mexico.

Then one day, she typed her child's name into Facebook on a library computer, and suddenly found herself exchanging messages with a young woman who said she was her daughter in what experts say was a rare online success in the search for missing kids online.

But the exchange wasn't a happy reunion.
"She thought I was a stranger woman," Sagala said, with hurt and frustration in her voice. "I wrote back and she deleted it. Then, she disappeared."

Authorities tracked down the children, now 16 and 17, outside Orlando, Florida, and arrested their father, Faustino Fernandez Utrera, 42, on May 26. He faces kidnapping and child custody charges. Sagala is now racing to regain custody of her children before they turn 18 and she loses them to adulthood.

Florida authorities have temporarily placed the children with a non-relative whom the pair know and set a hearing for later this month.

"This has been so traumatic for them. The father, the only person they've known as a parent, is now in jail. When they have children of their own, when they're 25, 26, 27 years of age, it's going to dawn on them what their mother lost," Montclair police Detective Debbie Camou said. "You can't fault them for what they feel."

Utrera did not respond to a request for a jailhouse interview. Florida authorities did not know if he had retained an attorney.

The couple was contemplating divorce in 1995 when Sagala returned from work to find the children, then 3 and 2, gone, Camou said.

Sagala, 43, later learned through her husband's relatives in Mexico City that he was there with the children and didn't intend to come back, Camou said. "At that time, she was afraid to go to Mexico because he had threatened her," she said.

Police eventually referred the investigation to the San Bernardino County District Attorney's office, following the department's policy, but the probe stalled.

During this time, authorities recently learned, Utrera moved to Florida with his children and got a driver's license using a fake name. It's unclear how long the three had been in Florida when Sagala found the Facebook page.

Meanwhile, Sagala raised two younger children she had with a man she said she married three years after Utrera fled and with whom she now lives on a quiet residential street in this city about 35 miles east of Los Angeles. It's not clear if she ever divorced Utrera.

But she always hoped to reunite with her older children. On a visit to a neighborhood library in March, Sagala had one of her children enter her daughter's name into Facebook and her page popped up.

On March 10, she began exchanging e-mails and chatting with her daughter, and hoped to get her to reveal where she lived and re-establish a bond.

Sagala said she sent an old family photo to the teen, but her daughter broke it off, saying in an e-mail that she was happy with her family and that she'd heard bad things about her mother.

Sagala alerted police, who used the names of friends on the daughter's page to track the girl to central Florida — and her high school. Sagala gave police copies of e-mails she exchanged with her daughter, which helped prosecutors build their case against Utrera.

Authorities in Florida began surveillance of the children and Utrera to make sure they did not run off while prosecutors in San Bernardino built an extradition case in California, Camou said.

Investigators checked the children's attendance at school and drove by their house to make sure they weren't packing up. Utrera and the children had been living with another woman whom the children apparently considered a mother figure, said Kurt Rowley, who is prosecuting the case in California.

Once prosecutors said they had enough to charge Utrera, Florida deputies arrested him as he waited at a bus stop to pick up his son from school.

When Utrera was arrested, the family was living in a permanent mobile home on a palm-lined street of neatly trimmed lawns in Davenport, Fla. On a recent day, a minivan parked in the drive bore a speciality license plate with the words "Parents Make A Difference" inscribed on it.

The case is "more heartbreaking because now, with the dad in jail, she does have a right of custody by default, but it's not that simple," Rowley said, adding that courts give weight to the children's opinions because of their age. "If they were returned to her, in all likelihood, they would probably run away."

Even with the array of websites frequented by teens, discoveries like Sagala's are rare because abducted children's lives are so closely monitored by the offending parent that they can't easily get online, said Robert Lowery of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

For now, Sagala is trying to sort out the pieces of her children's past. Her younger kids, she said, helped her stay strong.

Then, with a sad smile, she summed up what she's missed with the older ones: "Every single day."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What Was She Thinking???

N. Carolina Waitress Fired Over Facebook Gripe!

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina waitress is out of a job after griping on her Facebook page about the bad tip she got from a lingering table of customers.

The Charlotte Observer reported Monday that 22-year-old Ashley Johnson felt slighted after spending three hours waiting on a couple at Brixx Pizza who left only a $5 tip.

So she blasted the couple on her Facebook page while also mentioning the restaurant.

Brixx officials told Johnson a couple of days later that she was being fired because she violated a company policy banning workers from speaking disparagingly about customers and casting the restaurant in a bad light on a social network.

Johnson says she has apologized to Brixx and is looking for a new job.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Lottery On the Web

The Virginia Lottery is pulling its Daily Draw and twice-a-week Win For Life drawings from broadcasting on television to the web in order to save money. Mega Millions drawings will remain on television.

Monday, Jan. 11 will begin the first week of the change.

And while it allows the Virginia Lottery from having to pay to broadcast on tv, they say it is also a recognition that many receive their lottery results online or on a mobile device.

Those interested can visit the lottery's website at , fan them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and as always, call the lottery hotline.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Is Facebook Fan Check app a virus?

Several outlets are urging caution

Published : Tuesday, 15 Sep 2009, 9:36 AM EDT

Last week Facebook users flocked to download the new "Facebook Fan Check" app, which creates a list of top friends based on how much friends write on walls, comment on photos and more. But many are worried that the app is a virus.

One Facebook status people are posting on their pages on Monday reads, "Urgent!!! The fan Check application is a Virus that takes 48 hours to kick in. Even if you are tagged in a photo the virus still attacks you. Please inform all your friends remove / delete this application ASAP.... rewrite this message and or copy and paste to all your friends."

But several outlets are urging caution. PC Magazine reported last week that the app itself doesn't have the virus -- it's the many Web sites that are being set up that falsely claim to remove a virus from Fan Check that users should watch out for. People are searching for information about fan check online and getting results pages full of malware sites.

"Hackers have set up Web sites pretending to be about the 'Facebook Fan Check Virus,' but which really host fake anti-virus software which display bogus warnings about the security of your computer in an attempt to get you to install fraudulent software and cough-up your credit card details," wrote Graham Culley, a senior technology consultant on Sophos, last Monday .

Facebook Fan Check creator Janakan Arulkumarasa maintained that it's not the app that has the problems . It "is NOT a malicious app. Unfortunately, some malicious developers have been spreading a lie that is -- and encouraging people to download fake virus scanning software, which damages their computer. This is very unfortunate, but has nothing to do with us," he said.

Networkworld reports that a Facebook spokesperson said that the company had reviewed the app and it wasn't found to contain a virus.

Last Tuesday the Facebook Fan Check page listed 12.5 million monthly active users, according to Networkworld. Later that afternoon, users dropped to 6.4 million.

To see a video on how to watch out for this virus go to: